UNSUNG HEROES: JANETTE BAIR AND PAT AUSTON[Part_1]
7:30 AM: Janette Bair has hosted house concert style performances in her Reeds Spring Homes for over 20 years. She is a hero to music lovers across the country. Mike Smith has her story.
4:30 PM: Pat Auston is the support group coordinator at St. Johns. She facilitates 12 support groups, and has made a difference in many people's lives. Michele Skalicky has her story.
For KSMU I'm Mike Smith and today we travel to Stone County to meet an unsung hero to many local, regional, and national touring musicians and fans of "House Concert" style live performances. Her name is Janette Bair, and she, along with her partner Bruce Anderson, own "The Rock House" in Reeds Spring.
Since 1988, Janette Bair has been hosting house concerts in her Reeds Spring homes. First in the New Coast Gallery, Janette's art gallery on what is considered Main Street there. The place would seat around 40 at most and was more than just a little crowded during many of the performances. Around 4 years ago, she and Bruce decided renovate and move into a 1920's era stone house just around the corner and up the hill from the gallery. The new home for the New Coast Gallery concert series, "The Rock House", is a much more comfortable environment for musicians and patrons alike, with a much larger seating and socializing area. The acquisition and complete renovation of the building represents an investment of nearly $150,000.
So why the "Unsung Hero" designation for Janette Bair? Consider this... For 20 years now, never once in the well over 200 house concerts she has hosted in the New Coast Gallery and the Rock House has Janette accepted a single cent for herself when collecting admission at the door. Now don't get me wrong, the Rock House concerts aren't free, Janette has always given 100% of the gate to the performing musicians.
Reeds Spring resident D.A. Callaway says Janette's way made him wonder if "she was a Saint, or was crazy". I think D.A. has determined that Janette Bair is a saint because he says "what she's done to add to the value of life in our community is amazing".
On the night KSMU visited the Rock House, Joe Scott and Hannah Alkire of the Berthod Colorado based duo "Acoustic Eidolon" were performing. Alkire told this reporter that "they are blown away that others would create a space just for the music and bring people like us in". Scott says people like Janette are "Very important to us".
Janette Bair says and Bruce Anderson agrees their work on the Rock House and their efforts before during and after concerts there is a "labor of love for the music, the arts, and their community".
For KSMU's Sense of Community Series, I'm Mike Smith.